oral tradition in print: fables, folk tales, fairy tales, myths, and legends

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  • Oral Tradition in Print: Fables, Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, Myths, and Legends
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  • Fables Definition: A brief story that sets forth some pointed statement of truth Origin: Found in almost every country Handed down from generation to generation as oral literature Content: Usually contains incidents that relate to the unusual, sometimes supernatural - Contains a moral or lesson Characters: often animals or plants given human qualities, but people and supernatural figures may appear Structure: lacks development of characters Examples: Aesops fables, The Tortoise and the Hare
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  • Folk Tales / Tall Tale Definition: deal with heroes, adventure, magic or romance Some are tall tales- stories that contain hyperbole. (Ex: Paul Bunyan) Origin: American folk literature Oral tradition (word of mouth); no known author Content: Based on hard-working people Bragging and exaggeration HYPERBOLE (tall tale) Humorous or witty Seemingly impossible feats Characters: people, fictional characters Told to make the narrator seems as if he/she was part of the story Examples: Ali Baba, Johnny Appleseed, Jack & the Beanstalk
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  • Fairy Tales Definition: fictional story that may feature folkloric characters and enchantments Origin: almost all cultures Oral tradition and then written and recorded Content: Associated with children Characters: fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, gnomes, talking animals, princes, princesses, witches, wicked stepmothers, fairy godmothers, etc. Structure: Contains elements of plot Examples: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.
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  • Myths Definition: a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form Origin: Almost all cultures Passed through oral tradition Content: Closely linked to religion and the explaining of why something is; establishes models for behavior Characters: Gods or supernatural heroes Structure: Elements of plot, personification Examples: Greek mythology, Roman mythology
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  • Legends Definition: stories about the past. They are often based on facts, but storytellers have added imaginative details. Origin: found in almost all cultures Passed on through oral tradition Content: occurrence of miracles Characters: real people going through imaginary events Structure: Includes element of plot Examples: Beowulf, Robin Hood George Washington cutting down the cherry tree
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  • Quiz Time w/ group Which genre teaches a moral at the end? Which genre usually features gods & goddesses? Which genre usually has no known author & is passed down by word of mouth (oral tradition)? Which genre includes elements of plot, is based on facts, but has imaginative details? Which genre has fictional characters, such as fairies and giants?
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  • PLOT Sequence of events in a story that revolves around a conflict, or problem. In folk literature, events unfold quickly and predictably (much easier than in novels or longer stories) Notice the way: Events are presented in sequence Main character solves the conflict often w/ help of gods or magic Satisfying conclusion
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